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It's great to see a building that is designed in and out for a specific end user, rather than a developers expectation of the mainstream market need. Seems quite dramatic inside as well as out, however, those sweeping north views will unfortunately become another Hoyt tower someday.

Randy Nishimura

Just a small point: Aalto had two projects realized here in this country: the library at Mt. Angel, and the Baker House dormitory at M.I.T.

Great report on Ziba's new headquarters. Sounds like a perfect combination of an enlightened, sophisticated client and a talented team of architects.


hmmm , a huge wall of north glass , not very green , not very responsible , kinda a big ego statement , eh?


north facing windows provide the best light, ask any artist.


It's Clyfford Still, btw.


"hmmm , a huge wall of north glass , not very green , not very responsible , kinda a big ego statement , eh?"

Are... are you serious?



What are you talking about? This is not North Dakota. We work in a mild climate. The program for the building creates large quantities of heat from computers and people. Cooling is the largest factor. Heating concerns are minimal. I guess they could have opened some southern glazing that would have been well protected by the building directly adjacent on the property line.

Ego? did ZIba or Holst not respond to your resume? Maybe you are right. I guess we should really be offended by ZGF as their new office has large glass on all four elevations, all the way from the sidewalk to the top floor and beyond the parapet..have they no shame? And then we should look at those puff-chested Mercy Corps workers with their wall of EAST facing glass as if Mount Hood was their own.


I have a friend in the condo across the street who runs her air conditioning all winter long because her unit is too hot. Go figure.


david , I am with you on the hideous ZGF bldg. A great example of 21st century thinking is right down the street in the U of O center. But , while I respect both ZIBA and J.Holmes et al , this is
an un-green 20th century design with huge useless spaces for the
puff-chested ego.
And no , I don't need a job doing this kind of thing.


the billb coefficient of building performance: [f]

C(b+I) = [f]




Yeah, I'm with you. I've always wondered why the LEED rating system gives credits for connecting the building occupants with the outdoors through the introduction of daylight and views to the outside, as well as potentially decreasing the amount of artificial lighting required when natural light is used.

...just seems silly to me.


Questions of ego aside, I think billb is correct that this building will be a poor energy performer. Glazing has very little r-value so no matter if it hot or cold the active mechanical systems will have to work to keep up, although the fact that it is an internally load dominated building will take a bit of the sting off the heating bill. You still have to make the building habitable when people arrive in the morning, though. I also think daylighting and views are extremely important, but that's not the issue here - there are many ways to have plenty of both without full glazing.

I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons for the glass wall - there are many factors must be balanced in any design. I am a little surprised at the vicious personal attacks prompted by a reasonable and valid criticism, though.


I don't think billb's statement about the facade being a big ego statement is reasonable or valid at all.


i find it amusing that some architects/critics assume the path to righteousness and/or professional respect is proclaiming everything around them is bad. criticism for the sake of criticism only exposes how little you actually know.


Perhaps. While I like the building's appearance, I do think that it is pretty much screaming, 'look at me'. I personally suspect that this is more about marketing for a firm that specializes in design (Ziba) than any architect's ego.


sut, I think people are getting hung up on the "kinda a big ego statement" remark. It's kind of a weird frame of reference to take. When you think of all the swoopy dollops of ice cream being planned all over the Middle East and China right now, to call something that frankly looks and feels this utilitarian "a big ego statement" just comes off as a bit silly, "confused, bitter," etc.


The design to me is pretty subtle and also very elegant. Kudos to Holst and the client. Is there an interior courtyard to this building?


I haven't seen the energy model for Ziba. Nor do I know the mechanical system or skin assemblies. So, I'm loath to comment on this building's green-cred. Clearly, in any building, there is a give and take between heat loss, natural lighting, views, high-performance glazing, internal loads, client desires, and so on. It's never truly a simple equation: big glazing area = poorly performing building.

I'm with poop regarding the general tone around here. I submit, though, that it's actually a dismissive/ignorance-is-bliss posture rather than self-promotional criticism. It is easy to poo-poo the efforts of others. A careful, reasoned conversation built on understanding, takes much more commitment and compassion.

Regardless, buildings are designed and built with many forces at play. Astonishingly, very few of these forces are under the direct control of the architect.

I think Ziba looks good and was clearly done with care and skill.

Double J

It is allegedly going to be Leed Gold certified so Im bot certain all this fizz over the curtain wall will hold up.

Yes glass is still one of the ballsier materials but it's ballsy in a refined way.

Lastly, any employer that recognizes the importance of natural light upon their employee's health and mental acuity is alright in my book. Working in a dungeon stinks, espc. when the only people with windows have them as status or power symbols. Ziba isn't like that.

Double J

that's "not" certain not "bot" certain


It's a great looking building and I agree about having tons of natural light being a positive thing. After all, with electricity at least you have the option of generating your own on site or buying renewable clean energy. I say go for the windows. I can't stand living or working in caves.

It's a funny comment about the ego. I mean, it's a pretty subtle building and Portland is filled with mediocre newer buildings. I'd like to see more risks taken with design here. Ballsy = interesting. Cheers!


Congratulations to ZIBA for investing in the city of Portland as their home. A world class design firm. For anyone who knows anything about them the word ego would not be mentioned accept to highlight it's absence.


maybe all of you should get a life and fight for your own design work. quit the hate.


truly a bunch of wankers for design critics in this town.


I live a block from this building and had to look up Holst as soon as I got home. I have a feeling the people that are most critical of this building probably haven't actually seen it. It's stunning to say the least, I would consider myself lucky to be working with either Holst or Ziba in the future.

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